the adventure continues

December 2008: Graduated from university January 2009: started getting sick December 2009: worked on beating cancer January 2010: TBA

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Location: Seattle, WA, United States

newly minted alumnus of the Art Department at the University of Idaho; BFA in studio art, with a history minor


Field Trip III

The Abbey of Villiers

This Cistercian abbey was founded many hundreds of years ago, after a schism off the older Benedictine Order. Ultimately the Cistercians were undermined by the same problems that had lead them to split from the Benedictines-- While both may start out as hard working, impoverished monks-- they tend to accumulate a huge amount of wealth after a few generations. Then the problem is: what do we do with all these riches?

Sometimes the answer is “be rich and powerful,” and in this case, the abbey was eventually consumed and is now one of the most magnificent ruins of it’s kind. There is still a working vinyard on the property, and the site is host to annual summer theatre productions. If you like ruins, theatre, or great tours-- I suggest spending a day exploring this place and then kicking back at the pub across the street with a pint of Old Villier’s-- named for the abbey (possibly hearkening back to old monastic recipes), which comes in amber, dark and blonde.

PS: I just watched "Kingdom of Heaven" last night-- a film about the fall of Crusader Jerusalem circa 1185 AD. Generally I am not as interested in the "Holy Land" as I am in northern Europe, but it is set in roughly the same period that Walhain was constructed. The overall tone was melancholic and cynical, the Knights Templar were depicted as bloodthirsty jerks, and the Muslim commander and his army were the most civilized fighting force on the field. If there is a religious message, it is a tolerant one: niether side was passed off as being better, or more "right," than the other-- and I can't help but cheer for that.


Anonymous Mom said...

Where have I seen that shirt before?!

10:59 AM  
Blogger Kim Russo said...

Oh how lovely!

11:19 AM  

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